The Yorubas are numerous and well known in Africa, they originated from Ile-Ife, arose and became quite popular by their trading with the Portuguese, which gave them a large supply of guns. The Yorubas are the second largest ethnic group in Nigeria, with a population of about 30 million, and occupy most of what we refer to today as South Western Nigeria. Indigenous Yoruba populations can also be found in the
Republic of Benin and Togo. Yoruba history and the recent life are very interesting topics for people across the globe. Even modern Nigerians who reside in the big cities are wondering what the origin of Yoruba race is. You will find all the answers as we progress. The Yoruba tribe has so many kindred nations, they are very numerous. The distribution of the Yorubas covers several countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin.
Archeologists realized a lot of ancient fossils that proved that this tribe is extremely old. But how and when it appeared, No one can tell even till today. According to the legend, the Yoruba tribe was extracted from the east. The legendary ancestor of the Yoruba people is considered to be Oduduwa who is believed to have descended from above. The Yoruba genome was examined and scientist detected from 0.2% to 0.7% Neanderthal genes. Most times, people say that the Yoruba’s originated from Benin. But not only from Benin.
The Yoruba’s formed a treaty with the Fulani’s in the late 1800s, and in the year 1901 they were colonized by the British. Due to their relationship with the Fulani’s who are the great Islamic evangelists, so many Yoruba people do not subdue to Islamic religion, but instead, worship their spirits and gods that they hold on to.
One of the characteristics that make the Yoruba people stand out is their tendency to grow into large city groups instead of minute village groups. Today, the Yoruba’s are one of the three major ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. In the area of growing their economy, the Yoruba people basically engage in agriculture, with about 15% of the people employed as merchants or artists and craftsman.
The Yorubas possess a rich wealthy heritage which has influenced many other ethnic nationalities in the country and other countries as well.
The discussion ensuing the origin of the Yoruba has proved to be a topic of concern recently. The long standing feud between the Yoruba and the Bini about certain aspects of the myth allegedly responsible for the existence of the Yoruba is well known. The story in question has to do with Oduduwa, who is acclaimed by the Yoruba to be the founder of the monarchy at Ile-Ife. According to the story, Oduduwa migrated to Ile-Ife from a region located to the North-East of the Atlantic coast and sent his descendants out to take over other parts of Yoruba land.
However, the Bini refused to accept the assertion by their neighbors in the West that Oduduwa’s offspring also conquered the reins of authority in Benin after the downfall of the Ogiso dynasty.
They believe that Oduduwa was a refugee in Bini who left for ille-ife after a misunderstanding ensued in the ruling camp of the Ogiso in Benin. According to the Benin people, the conceived that Eweka I, who established a new dynasty in Benin after the end of the Ogiso era was himself a descendant of this Bini refugee, and was not Yoruba, as the Yorubas claimed.
Talking about the origin of the yorubas, the story of Oduduwa’s establishment of the dynamic rule in Ile-ife does not really hold ground. It only tells of the emergence of the ruling house in Ile-Ife, which at the end succeeded in sending out conquering hordes or settlers to other communities of Yoruba speaking people
Be it as it may, some researchers still believe that the story of Oduduwa still has value, and tend to use the details in it as a guide to study the early days of Yoruba history.
However, what is clear is, just like many other ethnic groups in the country, the Yoruba people are descended from multiple streams of migrants who settled in Ile-Ife and some parts of the South West at different times. Despite the complicating story of early Yoruba history currently being grappled with by historians, there is a high believes that linguistic, archaeological and genetic research could help provide more clues about the emergence of one of Africa’s most influential ethnic groups.